PLANS to build new affordable homes in Southampton have moved a step forward.

City councillors have approved £18.3m worth of funding to build 103 affordable homes at the former Oaklands Community School site in Fairisle Road, Lordshill.

As reported, the school closed in 2013 and the building has been demolished since.

The site is set to be developed into 41 flats and 63 houses. These will be a mixture of council-rented and shared-ownership homes, while a proportion will also be made available to residents with care needs.

The development’s design will follow the  style of the local area, the authority said. There will be semi-detached houses, short terraces and small blocks of two and three-storey flats.

The funding was approved during a behind-closed-doors meeting on Wednesday. After the meeting, councillor Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the Conservative group at Southampton City Council (SCC) said his group abstained. “Whilst we support the building of the affordable homes we are not comfortable this is value for money,” he added.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes and culture at SCC, hit back saying the Labour-led council has guaranteed value for money for the taxpayers. She added: “With this development in Lordshill, we will be delivering affordable homes, aimed at families on our housing waiting list and those people struggling to get onto the housing ladder. There continues to be huge demand for council housing in the city, so I am pleased we are able to help address this. I am keen we deliver homes that Southampton people actually need. This is why there will be a variety of styles and capacities to suit different types of families .” The authority said the new development will see new parking spaces and a range of energy-efficient features, such as solar panels.

A cycle path will also be rerouted through the development. Work on site is expected to begin later this year with the homes expected to be completed by 2022.